Our Executive Management Group
Our Executive Management Group (EMG) is made up of four executives who oversee the strategic direction and management of over $31 billion in funds as at 31 January 2021.
The EMG is led by our Chief Executive Officer. It is the EMG's responsibility, with the help of our Board Secretary, to:
- Lead our day-to-day management
- Provide insights and advice to the Board
EMG members undertake continuous education, ensuring that they maintain the educational and technical skills needed to effectively carry out their roles in a knowledgeable and prudent manner.
Our Executive Management Group members
Ben Palmer - Chief Executive Officer
Ben was appointed as our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on 4 July 2018, and is responsible for providing strategic leadership to the organisation. He is accountable for achieving our strategic, business, policy and budget objectives, and for compliance with legislative requirements. Formerly our General Manager, Investments, Ben was also our Acting CEO from 30 January 2017 for six months and from 1 February 2018 for a further five months.
Ben has over 16 years' experience across the superannuation and investment management professions. Before joining us, Ben spent eight years with Schroders in London, more recently as Head of Portfolio Management for the group's UK private wealth business, and previously as Asset Allocation Strategist specialising in the not-for-profit sector.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, and completed a Certified Investment Management Analyst qualification in 2013. He joined us in December 2012.
Karen Horne - General Manager, Superannuation Services
Karen is responsible for providing overall leadership for the delivery of strategic and operational member engagement, legal risk and compliance, business development and business analysis services to GESB. In addition, she holds executive responsibility for overseeing the service delivery of our administration services provider. Karen was also our Acting CEO from 30 July 2017 for a period of six months.
Karen was previously Head of Business Development for GESB, and prior to this, held senior management roles with a number of organisations in both the super and financial services sectors.
Karen is a member of the WA State Executive of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). She has a Masters of Future Studies, a Diploma of Financial Services, a Diploma of Insurance, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. She joined us in 2006.
Mark Caldwell - Chief Financial Officer / General Manager, Finance and Business Services
Mark provides strategic leadership and has overall responsibility for our Finance, Tax, Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement, Risk, Compliance and Investment Operations.
He holds a Masters of Science in Accounting and Finance and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in International Business and German. He qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) in the UK, and is also a Fellow of CPA Australia, as a Certified Practicing Accountant. Mark has completed a post graduate diploma in Corporate Governance, through the Governance Institute of Australia and is a Chartered Company Secretary and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.
For over 22 years, Mark has held a number of senior finance positions both in the UK and Australia. He joined GESB in November 2014.
He currently is as an external member of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Public Sector Commission of Western Australia, and was recently appointed as the interim Chair of that Committee.
Mark previously sat on the WA Government's CIO Advisory Committee, within the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer for three years, and was a Board member for a WA-based mental health not-for-profit charity for 18 months.
Paul Taylor - General Manager, Investments
Paul leads our Investment team and has overall responsibility for investment governance, investment strategy, asset allocation, portfolio construction and investment monitoring.
He has over 20 years of investment experience with superannuation funds and other institutional investors.
Before joining us in 2019, Paul spent four years with Willis Towers Watson, most recently as their Head of Asset Consulting in Australia.
He previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he led their institutional investment advisory practice, and an investment consultancy firm in London, where he was Head of Investment Manager Research.
Paul is a CFA® charterholder and holds a Bachelor of Computer and Mathematical Science (Statistics and Economics).
Lucia Barrett - Board Secretary
Lucia is our Board Secretary and Manager - Legal, Risk and Compliance. She has been working across the legal and tax professions for the past 16 years. Lucia replaces Chelsea Chua in the position, and has been appointed for a two-year period.
She has extensive experience having held various legal and tax positions, and previously worked for a large financial institution and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Lucia has a double degree in Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Banking and Finance) from Murdoch University.
Lucia joined us in 2008.
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